Monthly Archives: June 2014

Energy drinks … the news gets worse

Energy DrinksEnergy drinks have consistently been in the news over the past few years. They’re dangerous. And most aren’t regulated the way they should be because they’ve managed to fall into the “special” category of nutritional supplements. That categorization has helped manufacturers avoid conforming to the maximum caffeine content allowed in sodas and other beverages (71 mg. per 12 ou.). Energy drinks contain other stimulants in addition to caffeine. Ingredients like guarana seed extract and taurine are common in energy drinks and have stimulant properties. Emergency room visits that are linked to energy drinks are rampant. Deaths have been linked to the drinks, but no direct cause and effect has ever been established. What’s worse is that kids (especially teens) are consuming too many energy drinks far too often.

While we hate to be the bearer of more bad news on the subject, the report that follows deserves your attention.

A grieving Arizona mother is claiming that energy drinks were a major factor in the shocking death of her 16-year-old daughter.

Lanna Hamann was on vacation in Rocky Point, Mexico when her mother, Kris Hamann, received a call saying her daughter had died from a heart attack. Lanna was travelling with friends, who told Kris that the teen had been drinking energy drinks all day, rather than keeping hydrated with water.

On Saturday June 14, Lanna complained to the father of one of her friends that she was not feeling well, after a day drinking the energy drinks at the beach. Soon after, she suffered a heart attack and died.

In a tearful interview, Kris described the star softball athlete as having a “beautiful smile” and an “outgoing personality.”

“Obviously, this is something that could have happened anywhere, whether she was in Mexico or whether she was here in Arizona playing softball,” Kris said. “(Parents should) make sure they’re watching their kids. (Watch) what they’re drinking and (make sure) they’re drinking water instead of an energy drink.”

Consuming large quantities of energy drinks can become dangerous.

“Blood pressure is going to rise. Heart rate is going to rise. Your muscles are going to start to contract,” said registered dietitian Abby Nevins. “So if you’re taking a bunch of 5 hour energies throughout the day, not hydrating with water, there is going to be a problem at the end of the day for sure.”

Nevins recommended a cup of coffee for consumers looking for that extra buzz, because coffee has more natural ingredients.

In the past few years, the Food and Drug Administration has received five different reports of people whose deaths have been at least partially blamed on energy drinks.

10 common side effects of excessive energy drink consumption, including heart palpitations, chest pain and respiratory distress. Studies have also found links between energy drink consumption and arrhythmia and high blood pressure. One recent study showed serious increases in heart contraction rates within an hour of drinking an energy beverage.

FoodFacts.com wants to express our deep sadness regarding this tragic situation. In addition, we want to caution those whose immediate reaction might be that consuming energy drinks without hydrating wasn’t intelligent on the part of a 16-year-old girl. There are plenty of less-than-intelligent decisions people of all ages make every day of the week. Most don’t result in a heart attack. The problem lies less with the teenager than with readily available, unregulated products that pose an extreme danger to our kids.

Whether or not they let us know it, kids actually do listen to adults. While none of us wanted another item to add to the already long list of things about which we need to caution our teens, we certainly have it. Talk to them about energy drinks and E.R. visits and deaths. Their lives are far too important to put in danger for a currently cool, quick pick-me-up. They really can live without it.

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/06/energy_drinks_blamed_in_16-year-old_girls_death_by_heart_attack.html

New report on a popular artificial sweetener isn’t very sweet

iStock_000022507322SmallArtificial sweeteners are exactly what their name infers. They’re chemically created, zero calorie versions of sugar. They can also be referred to as non-nutritive sweeteners — another very telling term. There is no nutritional value involved in artificial sweeteners. So what’s so bad about a substance that contains absolutely no calories that provides no nutritional value?

To begin with, artificial sweeteners have recently been linked with weight gain. Kind of counterintuitive, isn’t it? The very substance that’s supposed to help people with weight loss and weight control may not actually do what it’s intended to. That certainly hasn’t stopped anyone from opting for diet beverages and foods containing any number of different artificial sweeteners. Now there is more news that presents another problem with one of the more popular sweeteners consumers are using.

One of the active ingredients in a popular artificial sweetener could have the potential to limit the impact of therapeutic drugs, reduce the number and balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut and alter hormone secretion, according to an article published in Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A: Current Issues.

Authored by Susan Schiffman and her colleagues, the article details an experiment involving a popular artificial sweetener, which is comprised of the high-potency sucralose (1.1%) and the fillers maltodextrin and glucose.

The study involved an experiment using Sprague-Dawley rats that were administered the artificial sweetener over a 12-week period. Following a bacterial analysis of the rats’ fecal samples and measurement of fecal pH, the article concluded that artificial sweetener resulted in various adverse effects in the rats, including:

-Reduction in beneficial fecal microflora
-Increased fecal pH
-Enhanced expression levels of P-gp, CYP3A4,and CYP2D1, which are known to limit the bioavailability of orally administered drugs

“At concentrations typically used in foods and drinks, sucralose suppresses beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract with less effect on pathogenic bacteria,” article co-author Susan Schiffman, Ph.D said. “Most consumers are unaware of these effects because no warning label appears on products containing sucralose.” Schiffman also said went onto saythat the change in balance of gastrointestinal bacteria has been associated with weight gain and obesity. At elevated levels, sucralose also damages DNA. These biological effects occur at the levels of sucralose currently approved by regulatory agencies for use in the food supply.

That’s not very good news for sucralose fans. While the effects observed in this report are accounted for in earlier materials, those earlier accounts claim that these effects can only be seen with the consumption of sucralose at higher levels than currently approved in products in our food supply. When you consider how sucralose is manufactured, the news may not be very surprising. Sucralose is produced by the “selective chlorination” of table sugar. One of the synonyms for chlorinate is bleach. Doesn’t sound like a process that should be used in the production of anything edible.

FoodFacts.com makes it appoint to avoid all artificial sweeteners, simply because they are just that. Artificial. Any product we consume should be actual food and not something created in a lab.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/278366.php

What’s not a diet soda, but not a regular soda? Coming soon to the U.S. … Coke Life

0616_coke_life_970-630x420Soda drinkers have a bit of a problem these days. The widely held opinion used to be that diet sodas were a better choice than sugared sodas. Now, though, the artificial sweeteners in sugared sodas are linked to actual weight gain, instead of weight loss. Their sugary counterparts are under fire for contributing to the obesity crisis, in addition to the rise in diabetes and heart disease. Of course, for those of us who aren’t soda drinkers, both diet and regular sodas are the equivalent of chemical nightmares. But soda drinkers are having a hard time figuring out what to do. So much so that soda sales have steadily declined over the last 9 years. Consumers aren’t happy with soda choices and it’s beginning influence manufacturer decisions.

Coca-Cola, notably, is responding. There’s a new Coke on the horizon. Packaged in a green can that most of us aren’t yet familiar with, Coke Life is Coca-Cola’s answer to consumer concerns. Sweetened with stevia, this new version of regular Coke has been released in Argentina and Chili. This coming fall, it will debut in the U.K. It’s worth pointing out that this is the first new addition to Coke branded sodas in almost eight years.

Coke Life isn’t exactly a diet drink. It contains more than four tablespoons of real sugar and has about 89 calories per can—less than the 140 calories found in a can of regular Coke, but hardly something that will be championed by the quinoa crowd.

Instead, Coke Life is Coca-Cola’s answer to the two health concerns that have been hitting the company’s soda sales with a one-two punch: the anti-sugar movement, which rails against its full-calorie, full-sugar line of beverages, and the perception that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (found in both Diet Coke and Coke Zero) are unhealthy and can even contribute to weight gain.

These concerns have contributed to a steady nine-year decline in U.S. soda sales. Last year they slid even further—dropping 3 percent, or more than double the 1.2 percent they’d fallen the year before. (Soda is already down a further 2 percent this year.) Diet soda sales withstood the decline for a while; now they appear to be tumbling, too. Last year, Diet Coke sales in the U.S. dropped nearly 7 percent, according to Beverage Digest.

As soda sales have fallen, Coke has also found itself fending off health-policy experts and state governments pushing for increased regulation of sugary drinks and snacks. New York City’s limit on soda container sizes is currently making its way through state courts, and a California law that would add a warning label to cans saying, “Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay” has made it through the state senate, despite heavy lobbying by the local arm of the American Beverage Association (of which Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are members). In the U.K., where Coke Life will make its next debut, Coca-Cola has agreed to reduce the average calories in its sodas by 5 percent by the end of this year.

Coca-Cola has more than 100 years of experience fighting health crazes and government regulation campaigns. In 1906 the U.S. government sued the company in attempt to get it to abandon caffeine. (It lost.) In 1950, a Cornell professor named Clive McCay testified before a Congressional committee on food additives that Coke could eat through teeth. (Not true.) But so many drink choices are now available that Americans’ current move away from soda doesn’t appear to be temporary.

At the moment, Coke Life doesn’t have a U.S. debut date. Given the company’s heavy investment in stevia-based drinks—in 2007, Coca-Cola and Cargill teamed up to create Truvia, a consumer brand of stevia sweetener—it seems likely that the drink will soon see much wider release.

While Coke Life may in fact offer less sugar than regular soda and healthier sugar than both regular and diet soda, it still contains about 4 teaspoons of sugar in every can. That’s still too much when you consider the new recommendations of 6 teaspoons per day for men and 9 for women.

Step in the right direction? For some, maybe. But then there’s us. Here at FoodFacts.com, sugar is just part of our concerns — a big part, undoubtedly, but still only a part. At the end of the day, it will still be a Coke that’s sweetened differently. The changes in the ingredient list won’t go far enough. We’ll still be left with plenty of items on the ingredient list that we can’t bring ourselves to consume. Still soda. Still a problem.

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-06-17/cokes-new-low-cal-low-sugar-soda-is-designed-to-quiet-critics

Just because it says it’s healthy, doesn’t mean it is .

iStock_000003492931SmallPretty simple concept, isn’t it? Or at least it should be. But food marketers are well aware that minds can be swayed in a particular direction with the use of some very simple language.

Health-related buzzwords, such as “antioxidant,” “gluten-free” and “whole grain,” lull consumers into thinking packaged food products labeled with those words are healthier than they actually are, according to a new research study conducted by scholars at the University of Houston (UH).

That “false sense of health,” as well as a failure to understand the information presented in nutrition facts panels on packaged food, may be contributing to the obesity epidemic in the United States, said Temple Northup, an assistant professor at the Jack J. Valenti School of Communication at UH.

“Saying Cherry 7-Up contains antioxidants is misleading. Food marketers are exploiting consumer desires to be healthy by marketing products as nutritious when, in fact, they’re not,” said Northup, principal investigator of the study, “Truth, Lies, and Packaging: How Food Marketing Creates a False Sense of Health.”

The study examined the degree to which consumers link marketing terms on food packaging with good health. It found that consumers tend to view food products labeled with health-related euphemisms as healthier than those without them. The research also showed that the nutrition facts panels printed on food packaging as required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration do little to counteract that buzzword marketing.

“Words like organic, antioxidant, natural and gluten-free imply some sort of healthy benefit,” Northup said. “When people stop to think about it, there’s nothing healthy about Antioxidant Cherry 7-Up — it’s mostly filled with high fructose syrup or sugar. But its name is giving you this clue that there is some sort of health benefit to something that is not healthy at all.”

The study also looks at the “priming” psychology behind the words to explain why certain words prompt consumers to assign a health benefit to a food product with unhealthy ingredients.

“For example, if I gave you the word ‘doctor,’ not only ‘doctor’ would be accessible in your mind — now all these other things would be accessible in your mind — ‘nurse,’ ‘stethoscope,’ etc.,” Northup said. “What happens when these words become accessible, they tend to influence or bias your frame of mind and how you evaluate something.”

This triggered concept is then available to influence later thoughts and behaviors, often without explicit awareness of this influence — the so-called priming effect, Northup said.

Northup developed an experiment using priming theory to gather quantitative research on how food marketers influence consumers. He developed an online survey that randomly showed images of food products that either included actual marketing words, like organic, or a Photoshop image removing any traces of those words, thereby creating two different images of the same product. A total of 318 study participants took the survey to rate how “healthy” each product was.

The products with trigger words in their labels analyzed in the study were: Annie’s Bunny Fruit Snacks (Organic), Apple Sauce (Organic), Chef Boyardee Beefaroni (Whole Grain), Chef Boyardee Lasagna (Whole Grain), Chocolate Cheerios (Heart Healthy), Cherry 7-Up (Antioxidant), Smuckers Peanut Butter (All Natural) and Tostitos (All Natural).

Northup found when participants were shown the front of food packaging that included one of those trigger words, they would rate the items as healthier.

“I took a label from Cherry 7-Up Antioxidant and Photoshop it without the word ‘antioxidant’ and only the words, ‘Cherry 7-Up.’ I then asked people via the online survey which one they thought was healthier,” said Northup. “Each time a participant saw one of the triggering words on a label, they would identify it as healthier than the other image without the word. ”

After completing the product evaluations, the study participants then reviewed the nutrition facts panels on a variety of products. These labels would be presented two at a time so the participants could choose the healthier food or drink option.

“Food marketers say there are nutritional labels, so people can find out what’s healthy and what’s not,” he said. “Findings from this research study indicate people aren’t very good at reading nutritional labels even in situations where they are choosing between salmon and Spam. Approximately 20 percent picked Spam as the healthier option over salmon,” said Northup.

Northup hopes the results of this study will contribute to an increased dialogue on how food is marketed, guide development of specific media literacy and help people understand the effects of how food is marketed to consumers.

While we like to think of ourselves as sophisticated consumers (and just about everyone these days considers themselves as such), the proliferation of those small , yet powerful words on food labels everywhere — even where they don’t make sense — speaks directly to their actual influence. Antioxidant soda? Whole grain canned macaroni? Can those words actually manage to make an unhealthy product full of bad ingredients healthy? We know they can’t and yet, somehow, time after time, consumers are fooled. Armed with the insight as to why this manufacturers ploy continues to work, FoodFacts.com suggests we all think a little harder the next time we’re attracted to a product label bearing an extra descriptive word or two.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140613130717.htm

Is it a quesadilla? Is it a burrito? It’s both — the new Taco Bell Quesarito

Taco Bell QuesaritoWe’re living in a world of mash-ups. Music mash-ups are making headlines. Two or more different musical genres making their way into one recording often create a brand new listening experience. Artists of different eras have come together to bring new meaning to old songs. Website mash-ups bring together different technical functions to bring us new processes and performance. Some things can be brought together easily with amazing results.

And some things can’t. And that about sums up the new Taco Bell Quesarito.

Think about this. A cheese quesadilla is cheese melted between two soft taco shells. A burrito is meat, rice, cheese and typically beans rolled inside a soft taco shell. So now lets take that quesadilla and roll the burrito filling inside it. We’ll leave out the cheese in that filling and replace it with chipotle sauce and sour cream. Maybe it’s just as, but FoodFacts.com really can’t wrap our heads around the combination. It just doesn’t sound appetizing. Instead it sounds more like a wet, gooey roll with beef and rice. In all fairness we haven’t tasted it … and we’re not going to. For us, this is one mash-up we’ll be happy to miss.

Just in case you want to try it, though, we thought we should fill you in on the nutrition facts for the Quesarito.

Calories:                          650
Fat:                                  34 g.
Saturated Fat:                12 g.
Cholesterol:                    60 mg.
Sodium:                          1450 mg.

The quick assessment for the Quesarito is that the facts are just not good. But let’s go a little further. You can actually eat a Big Mac (which is definitely not a healthy choice) for better nutritional value. Specifically a Big Mac contains 100 less calories, 6 fewer grams of fat, 2 less grams of saturated fat and and 480 fewer mg. of sodium. The only thing the Big Mac gives you more of is cholesterol.

So not only do we not think this odd mash-up works, even bad fast food is better for you (even if it’s only minimally). Taco Bell, this is really just a bad interpretation of Mexican food. It doesn’t work.

http://www.tacobell.com/food/menuitem/quesarito?gclid=COGswdeh_b4CFUNgMgodYykAgA

More news on the health benefits of fasting — it may reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease

iStock_000025452335SmallJust last week, FoodFacts.com reported on recent research linking fasting to a renewed immune system and the rejuvenation of stem cells. We were excited by those possibilities. So many people are swearing by the benefits of a three-day fast — claiming everything from weight loss to renewed energy. It was intriguing to see research support those claims.

Today, we found new research findings from the Intermountain Heart Institute at Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah linking fasting to lowered rates of heart disease and diabetes.

Lead author Benjamin Horne wrote in a news release: “There are a lot of books out there recommending that people fast for two or three days a week,” he added, “but there are risks with fasting and little evidence that these diets are safe.”

The researchers reported that 10-12 hours of hunger prompts the body to initiate the search for food and the body then starts utilizing the stored amounts of bad cholesterol, LDL, which is found in fat cells of the body.

The researchers claimed that this mechanism influences people suffering from diabetes directly. Horne noted that fasting can become an important diabetes intervention in the future.

“Though we’ve studied fasting and it’s health benefits for years, we didn’t know why fasting could provide the health benefits we observed related to the risk of diabetes,” Horne noted.

The study reported that after six week of fasting, the cholesterol level decreases by around 12 percent. Horne said that since we expect that the cholesterol was used for energy during the fasting episodes and likely came from fat cells, this shows that fasting can prove an effective diabetes intervention.

We’ve actually never heard of a six-week fast and don’t actually think we’ll ever find anyone condoning such a time frame. But we continue to be fascinated by the health claims connected with fasting that are coming to light. And we look forward to more research that may help substantiate the views of so many health-conscious individual who truly feel an improved sense of well-being because of the three-day fast.

http://www.delhidailynews.com/news/Fasting-reduces-risk-of–diabetes-and-heart-disease-1402861317/

Dunkin’s newest Coolatta … the Frozen Arnold Palmer

iStock_000021757029Small (1)Summertime is here, and along with it new introductions of iced and frozen beverage from the fast food chains. The Dunkin Donuts Coolatta has been providing consumers with an icy cold way to beat the heat since 1997. Flavors have ranged from coffee varieties to strawberry, orange and blue raspberry in addition to the popular vanilla bean.

For a variety of reasons, FoodFacts.com hasn’t been a tremendous fan of the Coolatta. Some of those reasons are artificial colors and too much sugar. But we stand by the idea that every new product introduction deserves a fair chance. So when Dunkin announced the new Frozen Arnold Palmer Coolatta, we waited to take a look at the nutrition facts and ingredient list before we decided we wouldn’t be trying it.

It’s official now, though, we won’t be trying it. We wanted to fill you in on how we came to that decision.

Here are the nutrition facts for the medium size drink

Calories:                 270
Fat:                         0 g
Sodium:                 35 mg
Sugar:                    67 g

We’re highlighting the medium drink because this is the most common size sold. We’re not attempting to make it appear worse than it is. We’re certain we don’t like the idea of spending 270 calories on a drink. To put it into further perspective, the medium Frozen Arnold Palmer Coolatta weighs in at 16 ounces. A 20 ounce bottle of Pepsi has 250 calories. That’s four ounces more for 20 calories less. That same bottle of Pepsi has roughly the same amount of sugar as this frozen beverage. Everyone in our community already knows how we feel about soda. Since the nutrition facts here look quite comparable, our feelings are pretty much the same.

Here’s the ingredient list:

Frozen Neutral Base: Water, Neutral Base (Sugar, Glucose, Fructose, Silicon Dioxide, Malic Acid, Xanthan Gum); Arnold Palmer Half & Half Coolatta Base: Lemon Juice from Concentrate, Pear Juice from Concentrate, Filtered Water, Citric Acid, Black Tea, Natural Flavor, Dextrose, Xanthan Gum, Sucralose, Gum Acacia, Acesulfame Potassium, Ester Gum.

O.k. there aren’t any artificial colors in the Frozen Arnold Palmer Coolatta. But there are still many ingredients we really don’t like. More importantly, we have a serious question about these ingredients. There’s so much sugar in here — a little over 11 TEASPOONS in 16 ounces. You can see the Sugar, Glucose and Fructose listed. Why then, was it necessary to make things even worse with the addition of Acesulfame Potassium to the ingredients?  Someone thought they needed to sweeten the beverage even more — we get that. But it isn’t a “diet” drink, so how did it make sense to add artificial sweetener to the product?

FoodFacts.com’s assessment: we don’t need 11 teaspoons of sugar in 16 ounces of anything. As the weather heats up, we still like actual brewed, unsweetened iced tea. And if we want to sweeten it, we like deciding on the sweetener we use — and controlling how much of it we’ll be consuming.

http://www.dunkindonuts.com/content/dunkindonuts/en/menu/beverages/frozenbeverages/coolatta/new_frozen_arnold_palmer_coolatta.html?DRP_FLAVOR=Frozen+Arnold+Palmer&DRP_SIZE=Medium

Heart failure linked to process red meat in a new study

iStock_000041301708SmallWe know is that animal fats aren’t the good fats our bodies need. And we know that red meat is best consumed in moderation and then only the leanest cuts should be considered. We’ve also learned the enormous benefits of a plant-based diet, especially for those who have experienced heart problems. With all that in mind, this new research certainly makes a great deal of sense. It concerns processed red meats — things like sausage, hot dogs and lunch meats, and its results are fairly substantial.

According to a study in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Heart Failure, men who consume moderate amounts of processed red meat may have an increased risk of occurrence and death from heart failure.

“Processed red meat commonly contains sodium, nitrates, phosphates and other food additives, and smoked and grilled meats also contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, all of which may contribute to the increased heart failure risk,” said Alicja Wolk, D.M.Sc., senior author of the study and professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. “Unprocessed meat is free from food additives and usually has a lower amount of sodium.”

The Cohort of Swedish Men study is, in fact, the first to investigate the effects of processed red meat independently from unprocessed red meat. It included 37,035 men age 45 to 79 years of age with no history of heart failure, ischemic heart disease, or cancer. Study participants finished a questionnaire on food intake and other lifestyle factors. Researchers followed them from 1998 to the date of heart failure diagnosis, death, or the end of the study in 2010.

After almost 12 years of follow-up, researchers found that heart failure was diagnosed in 2,891 men and 266 died from heart failure. Also, men who ate the most processed red meat (75 grams per day or more) had a 28 percent higher risk of heart failure compared to men who ate the least (25 grams per day or less) after adjusting for multiple lifestyle variables. The risk of heart failure or death among those who ate unprocessed red meat didn’t increase.

Results of the study for total red meat consumption are in line with findings from the Physicians’ Health Study, which found that men who ate the highest amount of red meat had a 24 percent higher risk of heart failure incidence compared to those who ate the least.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 5.1 million people in the United States have heart failure, with about half of those who develop heart failure dying within five years of diagnosis.

Processed meats are notorious for containing some specific controversial ingredients, like nitrates. They’re also too high in sodium. For years, conflicting research has been presented on links between processed meats and cancer and elevated blood pressure. So while this new link may not be surprising, the extent of the findings may well be. FoodFacts.com thinks it makes sense for consumers to be more aware of the amount of processed meats they are eating. Some items are more recognizable as processed than others. Pepperoni, salami, sausage and bacon are easy to identify. Some consumers may not realize, however, that the roast beef purchased at the deli counter is actually a processed meat. Let’s stay aware of our consumption to help protect our health.

Read more: http://www.sciencerecorder.com/news/processed-red-meat-may-hurt-your-heart-researchers-say/#ixzz34r3Wcm1t

Under the Bun: The Burger King Extra Long Cheeseburger

rtttertte566edit334This week we have the pleasure of featuring another Under the Bun installment. Here, we turn our attention to the new Burger King Extra Long Cheeseburger. That’s right, the Extra Long Cheeseburger. Kind of looks like a hot dog, but there are two burgers inside the bun instead. You may be asking why anyone needs a cheeseburger that’s sort of like a hot dog. What’ the attraction here, anyway? Couldn’t someone just order a double cheeseburger?

FoodFacts.com wants to report that, in fact, the Burger King Extra Long Cheeseburger is actually just an odd translation of a double cheeseburger (except for the crispy onion rings topping the two burgers that lay side by side on a hoagie roll). Not the most original fast food creation. But let’s take a look at the nutrition facts before we make any decisions.

Here are the nutrition facts for the new sandwich:

Calories:                 590
Fat:                         28 g.
Saturated Fat:       11 g.
Trans Fat:              1.5 g.
Cholesterol:          70 mg.
Sugar:                   14 g.
Sodium:                1080 mg.

The Extra-Long Cheeseburger might be a translation of a double cheeseburger, but it’s certainly no better. With more calories, more fat, more trans fat and more sodium. In addition, you’ll be treated to 55% of your RDI for saturated fat.

While we don’t yet have access to the ingredient list, we can say with confidence that we won’t be trying this sandwich after looking at the nutrition facts listed.

And really, Burger King, there are better directions to go for new product introductions. We don’t get this sandwich at all. It didn’t take much creativity or thought. With fast food chains at least attempting to introduce healthier foods (even when their attempts aren’t incredibly successful), Burger King should be trying to follow suit. It’s called staying relevant. This sandwich isn’t.

http://www.bk.com/en/us/menu-nutrition/lunch-and-dinner-menu-202/fire-grilled-burgers-and-sandwiches-220/extra-long-bbq-cheeseburger-m2738/index.html

Do we really know what’s in the soda we’re drinking?

Melting honeyIt would be an understatement to say that FoodFacts.com dislikes soda. There are a myriad of reasons. Suffice it to say that we aren’t fans of chemical concoctions with no nutritional value. So of course, when we read new information regarding the overall nastiness of soda we do feel a responsibility to share it with our community. Today we read some new information that gives us all yet another reason to stay away from falsely flavored bubbly liquid.

Soda consumers may be getting a much higher dose of the harmful sugar fructose than they have been led to believe, according to a new study by the Childhood Obesity Research Center (CORC) at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC), part of Keck Medicine of USC.

In the study, published online June 3, 2014 in the journal Nutrition, Keck School of Medicine researchers analyzed the chemical composition of 34 popular beverages, finding that beverages and juices made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr Pepper, Mountain Dew and Sprite, all contain 50 percent more fructose than glucose, a blend that calls into question claims that sugar and HFCS are essentially the same.

“We found what ends up being consumed in these beverages is neither natural sugar nor HFCS, but instead a fructose-intense concoction that could increase one’s risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and liver disease,” said Michael Goran, Ph.D., director of the CORC and lead author of the study. “The human body isn’t designed to process this form of sugar at such high levels. Unlike glucose, which serves as fuel for the body, fructose is processed almost entirely in the liver where it is converted to fat.”

The Corn Refiners Association, a trade group representing HFCS producers, has long argued that HFCS is only negligibly different than natural sugar (sucrose), which is made up of equal parts of fructose and glucose. Goran’s analysis of beverages made with HFCS, however, showed a fructose to glucose ratio of 60:40 — considerably higher than the equal proportions found in sucrose and challenging the industry’s claim that “sugar is sugar.”

The research also shows that the ingredients on some product labels do not represent their fructose content. For example, Goran’s team found that the label on Pepsi Throwback indicates it is made with real sugar (sucrose) yet the analysis demonstrated that it contains more than 50 percent fructose. Sierra Mist, Gatorade and Mexican Coca-Cola also have higher concentrations of fructose than implied by their label. This suggests that these beverages might contain HFCS, which is not disclosed on their labels.

The research team purchased beverages based on product popularity and had them analyzed for sugar composition in three different laboratories using three different methods. The results were consistent across the different methods and yielded an average sugar composition of 60 percent fructose and 40 percent glucose in beverages made with HFCS.

Americans consume more HFCS per capita than any other nation and consumption has doubled over the last three decades. Diabetes rates have tripled in the same period. Much of this increase is directly linked to sodas, sports drinks and energy drinks.

“Given that Americans drink 45 gallons of soda a year, it’s important for us to have a more accurate understanding of what we’re actually drinking, including specific label information on the types of sugars,” said Goran.

According to this very revealing analysis, we really may not know what’s actually in the soda millions of Americans are drinking every day. And while the study doesn’t state that manufacturers aren’t being completely upfront about their ingredients, it certainly calls the items listed on the labels into question. FoodFacts.com truly hopes this analysis gets the press it deserves. In the interest of transparency, we hope our community shares this post.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140604093954.htm